DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - *Editorial Note: The investigation into the shooting revealed the man thought to be the gunman, John Wesley McMullen, was not the shooter. A second male passenger in the vehicle, 27-year-old Chadwick Schwender has been identified as the shooter. An updated story can be found here.
A deputy with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office was shot in the hand Tuesday afternoon by a shoplifting suspect, according to officials with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office. The gunman was arrested at 7:30 p.m., about five hours after the shooting.
Around 2:30 p.m., the deputy conducted a traffic stop on St. Patrick Street in Donaldsonville. The vehicle was suspected to be one involved in a theft that happened at the Donaldsonville Walmart where two men and a woman stole ammunition.
Officials say the deputy exited his vehicle for the traffic stop and the male passenger, now identified as 35-year-old John Wesley McMullen, bailed out of the vehicle and began shooting. He fired three shots from a high-powered rifle. One shot hit the deputy's cruiser, another shot hit the deputy's left hand.
The other two suspects tried to get away in their vehicle, but crashed nearby. The suspect vehicle had Florida license plates, and all three are suspected of being from Florida.
Deputies with Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Troopers, search dogs and helicopters were used to search the area and cane fields near where the shooting took place.
McMullen was captured near the Ascension Parish/Assumption Parish line.
He has been charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer, flight from an officer, shoplifting, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault. Officials say other charges may be pending.
McMullen is a fugitive from Lake Wells, Florida for robbery, kidnapping, inflicting bodily injury, arson, and attempted first degree murder.